With the global social network audience expected to total 2.55 billion active people by 2017 (eMarketer, 2013), its no surprise that live events are just one of the platforms now reaping the benefits from these statistics.
At the recent Isle of MTV festival which took place last week in Malta, Russell Samuel, vice president of creative planning and services at VIMN Advertising & Brand Solutions spoke to M&M Global about how live events are now essential element of global marketing strategies, particularly given the opportunities they can provide for brands.
I think todays audience are so connected that they are looking for these experiences that they can participate in and talk about. They need that social currency to fuel their own social networks, explains Samuel.
And this is, of course, just one piece of a very big puzzle for creating a successful marketing strategy. When you can effectively create experiences that people want to participate in and provide them with the tools to be able to share and talk about, youre on your way to creating a very prosperous marketing platform for brands.
Amplification of content
You want everything to be feeding off one another so that both for ourselves and for our partners were offering a full-service integrated platform that crosses live events with broadcast, digital and social, which we can amplify both beforehand with pre-promotion and afterwards with the broadcast.
As Samuel points out, its important to remember that audiences are now hyper connected and have lots of choice when it comes to accessing content. This is what drives MTVs broadcast, digital and social strategy of ensuring that it is connected with its audience exactly when they want to be.
Being a brand thats now over 30 years old, MTV has the benefit of knowing its youth audience inside out, an essential for any successful marketing strategy.
Brands such as Cornetto, House of Marley and Durex have seized this opportunity by sponsoring the event.
Theres a franchise there that already has share of voice with our audience that these brands can build on and get some exposure from. They also get ticket assets that they can use across their own channels to drive consumer promotion. says Samuel.
Youve got the ability to create brand experiences on the ground and then build stories and content off the back of that. It really is an integrated marketing opportunity that we offer.
With over ten million followers on Twitter and more than 50 million likes on Facebook, its clear that MTV has a good handle on the ever-evolving world of social networking.
I think its about using them in the appropriate way so that when we create opportunities or relevant stories for our audience. First and foremost its got to be right for the audience because theyll spot it if its not.
When we do co-branded activity with our partners we are able to use our social platforms to talk about and shout about them. But its got to be relevant. We cant be posting for the sake of sponsor brands, its about posting because we are offering the audience something.
For the past few years the event has chosen to base itself in Malta and has how created an ongoing partnership with the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA).
When this partnership started, there was a dual objective, explains Samuel.
On the one hand they wanted to build a key event in their cultural event calendar for the local Maltese market, one that was aimed at the younger demographic. But secondly, and if not more importantly, they wanted to target the under 25 tourist segment, which is what this event has given them.
So we do brand tracking, alongside it, so as well as obviously quantifying all of the exposure we are going to deliver, its also about ensuring that we are shifting the right metrics and making sure that young people are seeing Malta as a destination that they would consider going to.
So how does Isle of MTV differentiate itself from other branded events?
Were not just offering a sampling opportunity to x number of people, or branding on the ground to x number of people, we have that in our arsenal but its also all of those other assets you get as a sponsor. There is all the broadcast and digital exposure that as a sponsor youre wrapped around, its a far bigger audience youre reaching says Samuel.
We can work creatively with each partner and offer custom solutions that can activate different sponsor partners again depending on the brand and the objectives.
Its almost a starting point rather than the end point.
The Isle of MTV 2014 will be broadcast across all MTV international channels from August 1.